Men's Peer Education
Men’s Peer Education (MPE) is an important component of Sexual Violence Response and Columbia Health’s Sexual Violence Prevention strategies. MPE works to engage men as allies in ending sexual violence, relationship violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual harassment or Power-Based Personal Violence (PBPV). MPE does this through campus events, discussions, workshops and leadership training programs.
Engaging men in the work to end PBPV is a key component in primary prevention. Primary prevention is concerned with collective behavior change rather than increasing knowledge or awareness of PBPV. While it is also important to create awareness of these issues, the focus of primary prevention is to reduce and/or stop PBPV from happening in the first place.
MPE works to address the risk factors that create the conditions for the perpetration of PBPV while at the same time supporting the protective factors that will decrease the likelihood of perpetration. MPE also trains students to become more effective allies and campus leaders.
The majority of perpetrators of sexual violence are men, but the majority of men do not commit sexual violence! In fact, statistics show that 1 in 33 men report that they had experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault as a child or adult. Sexual violence affects everyone and it is important for men to see other men speaking out against violence.
MPE’s have a positive role to play in prevention by aiming relevant messages at men, supporting healthy models of masculinities, and promoting gender equity. We support men at Columbia in having better, healthier relationships and a fuller, more successful college experience.
- Invite men to become allies in ending sexual and relationship violence and supporting survivors of violence.
- Educate men about their power as bystanders to help end violence through everyday actions.
- Raise awareness of social, cultural and institutional factors that make perpetuate violence.
- Make clear connections between sexual and relationship violence and other forms of oppression and domination.
- Encourage men to challenge common myths about gender roles and explore how they contribute to violence.
- Support men in building skills to have healthier relationships and lives.
There are many ways for men to challenge the beliefs and behaviors of others while at the same time promoting supportive messages of healthy masculinities as well. You can get involved with MPE in any of the following ways:
- Host workshops for your club, team, fraternity, department or residence hall floor
- Attend provocative discussions on current events and issues (every other Wednesday in Lerner)
- Participate in campaigns
- Co-sponsor or request co-sponsorship for educational events with guest speakers
- Apply online to become a Peer Educator
Every student on this campus can be a part of the work to end sexual and relationship violence.